A group of Leeds locals did a bit of mystery shopping to answer the question: Is Light Night age friendly?
Leeds is host to numerous exciting events, such as Carnival, the Tour de Yorkshire, and Light Night, but how accessible are these activities to older people?
Five members of the Time to Shine Age Friendly Steering Group headed to Light Night to find out. The youngest was 60 and the oldest was 90.
They started at Town Hall to see a light installation in Victoria Hall. Though there were no seats available, a security guard happily brought some out after they asked to sit down for a minute.
The group also found that the Light Night volunteers wearing easily recognisable high-vis jackets was very helpful, as it was always easy to find someone to ask for information or help.
Walking through Millennium Square to see the large projection on the Civic Hall, a volunteer named Alice spotted that two of the group were using walking sticks and offered to escort them up to a designated viewing area in the Carriageworks. This was much appreciated after an evening of walking and standing, which can be difficult even for a short time.
Christine Dawson, a steering group member, said: “I wouldn’t have come to Light Night by myself, but now that I’ve been with a group and I know I can ask for help from one of the many volunteers, I’d have the confidence to do it on my own.”
Leeds is a member of the UK Network of Age Friendly Cities and has the ambition to be the best city to grow old in. The Council, third-sector organisations, private business and individuals can all take steps to be more age friendly.
To find out more, visit our Age Friendly page.